MEDICAL CONDITIONS

Muscle Tension

CBD for tension Experiences
Written by Stefan K.

CBD and Muscle Tension

Whether its minor cramps, sore and hardened muscles, or a stiff back – tension can manifest in a variety of forms, which all have one thing in common; they are all extremely uncomfortable, getting in the way of the daily lives of those affected. Products containing CBD, i.e. cannabidiol, are a helpful remedy for many different forms of tension. As a recognised natural medicine, CBD has proven its positive properties in many well-known studies. It also turns out that, when used against tension, CBD is particularly supportive of the body’s own regenerative mechanisms. 

Competitive athletes, those who work hard physically, and many other people who suffer from short-term as well as chronic muscle tension are turning to CBD with increasing frequency. Cannabidiol products provide a very effective remedy, especially for muscular problems caused by tension. For example, overstrained muscle groups, which have been exerted to the limits of their capacity or beyond, are brought into a state of relaxation by means of a gentle programme of relaxation, usually in combination with a CBD oil.  

The relaxing effect of the CBD, a cannabinoid which is extracted from the hemp plant, is well known. In contrast to the related substance THC, CBD is not psychoactive, is not regarded as addictive, and does not cause intoxication. 

The causes of muscle tension

Everyone is familiar with muscle tension – it is a frequent occurrence in everyday life.  Experts believe that, rather than medical conditions being the cause of muscular tension, incorrect posture is more often the cause. Tension in the muscles of the neck and shoulder, in which muscle tone increases unilaterally and long-term, are the most common cause of this condition in western industrialised society. One of the most common causes of tension is extended periods spent sitting in front of computers (adults) and game consoles (children), often bent forward and motionless.Anyone who has ever woken up in the morning with lumbar pain or back pain knows the tension which can be caused by a one-sided sleeping position. Mental and psychological stress can also manifest physically as muscular tension.

cbd-and-muscle-tensions

One study[1], carried out with over 1,200 subjects, found that there is a significant correlation between subjective well-being and stress-inducing activities. Another finding was that symptoms of tension are most keenly perceived between the ages of 44 and 50. 

How medication for muscular tension works

Muscle tension is an age-old problem, and so all sorts of approaches have been developed in order to deal with it. Those who seek to get by without having to take some form of medicine can, for example, place a heating pad on the tense area, get a massage, get lots exercise, make a point of improving their posture, or learn relaxation techniques.

The pharmaceutical industry has two basic approaches when it comes to dealing with tension: painkillers (analgesics) and muscle relaxants. 

Painkillers

Painkillers have an anticonvulsive effect, as the pain caused by cramps itself ends up causing even more tension. Painkillers help people to escape this vicious circle. However, the problem with this approach is that the active substances contained in painkillers (e.g. opioids and codeine) can also lead to addiction. 

Muscle relaxants

Rather than countering the pain, muscle relaxants deal with the cause of the pain, which is to be found in the muscle tissue itself. In this process, skeletal muscles become relaxed. The problem with muscle relaxants is the many side effects. Different active ingredients cause different side effects such as cardiac arrhythmia (pancuronium), mild anaphylactic reactions (mivacurium) or neurological disorders (dantrolene). 

None of these undesirable side effects described here has yet been demonstrated in even a single study of the use of CBD as an active substance for use against tension

CBD and muscle tension – How can cannabidiol help?

Firstly, via the endocannabinoid system and, secondly, cannabinoids directly influence human musculature. In medical circles, it is thus considered to be an effective means for successfully relieving tension. The reason why CBD is particularly helpful in cases of muscle tension is that it has the proven property of promoting circulation. CBD can help the muscles to be provided with more oxygen. The result of these two properties is that the muscles become relaxed. 

Most people are familiar with CBD taken in the form of oil. In this form, it is easy to take the right dose, as it can be consumed drop by drop. Those who suffer from muscle tension value this, as it is easy to determine the dose that they need in order to relax the tension in their muscles. You just put a few drops of CBD oil under your tongue  and keep it there for a few minutes so that it can enter your body via the mucous membranes. This method of taking CBD causes the effects to be felt more quickly.

Warming and cooling CBD salves, as well as high-quality hemp seed oil, which is pleasant for sensitive and dry skin, are recommended for use during relaxing massages. All CBD products mentioned here support the healing effects that massages can provide. It has been found that warming CBD salves and ointments promote the circulation of the blood. Thus they are not only excellent for physical recovery; they can also be applied preventatively by athletes, for example, before physical exertion.  

The treatment of muscle tension using CBD can certainly be usefully supplemented with other substances. Magnesium or vitamin D3, for example, taken over a period of at least three months, can supplement the effect of CBD in treating tension, i.e. support the healing process. 

At the same time, CBD has also been proven to work very well as an analgesic (painkiller), i.e. it not only addresses the cause of the tension but also alleviates its symptoms.

Specific forms of muscle tension – Using CBD as a muscle relaxant

Among the most common forms of tension are those that specifically affect the levator scapulae and the trapezius muscles. 

The levator scapulae runs behind the ear, along the neck, and down to the shoulder blade. Tension in this area can lead to more than just headaches, and in Germany, for example, about 40% of adults suffer from it, at least for brief periods. Massaging in CBD oil helps to provide relief. The resultant heat is absorbed by the tense muscle, relaxing it. 

The trapezius muscles are found on either side of the spine. The frequent carrying of heavy bags or a one-sided posture due to tasks carried out at work can be the cause of tension in the trapezius muscles. The relaxing effect which CBD oil has on the levator scapulae muscle also helps the trapezius muscles. 

Experiences using CBD for muscle tension

According to specialist journals which deal with the CBD and muscle tension, the number of relevant studies is still small, but the results are quite clear. Compared to research on other active substances, research into the effects of CBD on muscle tension is still in its initial stages. Every day, specialists publish new findings from this area of research. 

There are already plenty of product reviews, however. These report that taking CBD for muscle tension usually soothes, improves or even heals this condition.

Conclusion

  • CBD can combat both the causes and the symptoms of muscle tension. The antispasmodic effect addresses the causes.
  • The pain-relieving effect of CBD can also help.

[1] https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11553-012-0341-6?LI=true – 31.07.2019

Taking products containing cannabinoids may result in interactions with various medications. If you are already taking medication, the use of CBD and other cannabinoids should be discussed with your doctor beforehand.

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About the author

Stefan K.

Stefan K.

Stefan is not only a valuable part of the CannaTrust magazine but also convinces with his sound knowledge about the effects of cannabinoids. As an author in Austria he gathered valuable experiences when writing for 'Stadtblatt Salzburg'. He got in contact with cannabis through several positive media reports. Nowadays he writes about everything around the most popular cannabinoid these days: CBD.